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5/11/2017 | 3 MINUTE READ

Walmart, Apple and the Return One Million Jobs Initiative Seek to Reenergize Reshoring

Originally titled 'Walmart, Apple and the Return One Million Jobs Initiative Seek to Reenergize Reshoring'
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Over 13 days: Walmart announced an open call for U.S. products, Apple promoted a $1 billion fund to promote advanced manufacturing stateside and a new initiative sought to raise $20 million to reshore one million manufacturing jobs.

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Reshoring is a topic we’ve tackled here at Plastics Technology numerous times, and if Apple, Walmart and the Return One Million Jobs campaign have anything to say about it, there will be more reshoring stories to come.

On April 20, Walmart issued an “open call for U.S. products”, inviting companies that want to sell it U.S.-made products to come to Bentonville, Ark. on June 28. The massive retailer said the event supports its bid to purchase an additional $250 billion in U.S. products through 2023. Interested companies can head to www.walmart-jump.com. I visited Walmart’s U.S. Manufacturing Summit when it stopped in Denver in 2014.

Make it One Million
On April 27, Return One Million Jobs (ROMJ) LLC was created to raise $20 million to bring one million manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. from offshore. Headed by Carl Carstensen, who recently retired after 37 years with IBM global consulting services where he focused on the industrial sector, the project will reportedly apply global data analytics to help companies compare the total cost of supplying the U.S. market via manufacturing offshore vs. domestically. 

ROMJ has the support of and will be cooperating with the Reshoring Initiative. That group’s leader, Harry Moser, noted that “the combination of ROMJ’s resources and our tools will make One Million Jobs feasible.”

ROMJ is organizing a $20 million fund for a major data analytics program, which it will then apply to the 100,000 companies with offshored production and sourcing. ROMJ’s notes that its first job is “to inspire all 100,000 U.S. manufacturers with offshore production to participate in the free data analytics project.” Per Carstensen:

“If they use the TCO tools from the Reshoring Initiative and advanced data analytics, if they do the math, many manufacturers should want to return jobs to the USA, to increase profits.”

For more information, contact ROMJ at jobs@returnomj.com.

Apple Reboots Views on Reshoring
Back in December 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook took heat for this comment made on 60 Minutes:

“The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills. I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we’re currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.” 

Cook’s assessment slipped into hyperbole (I’d invite him to come to Amerimold, produced by PT parent company, Gardner Business Media, where he’d meet more tool and die makers than can fit in a conference room), but it was not without some merit. Plastics Technology has certainly discussed the erosion of skills in plastics and what industry is doing to address the problem.

On May 3, speaking with CNBC, Cook announced that the tech giant will start a $1 billion fund to promote advanced manufacturing jobs in the United States. The ultimate goal, being able to make Apple products in the U.S.

“A lot of people ask me, ‘Do you think it's a company's job to create jobs?’ and my response is [that] a company should have values because a company is a collection of people. And people should have values, so by extension, a company should. And one of the things you do is give back.”

Back in January, Digital Trends reported on Apple Supplier Foxconn’s consideration of a U.S. plant. So rather than petering out, it seems Reshoring might just be getting going.

According to the Reshoring Initiative, which offers its free online TCO Estimator to help companies quantify the hidden costs of offshoring, the reshoring movement began in earnest in 2010. Since that time, reshoring and FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) announcements by thousands of companies have resulted in more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs. That’s nearly one-third of the 939,000 manufacturing jobs added from the low of February 2010 until March 2017. 

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